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Firefox options page home page not editable (dropdown does not drop down)

  • 6 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by cor-el

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I've been helping my 88-year-old father with his PC. He has Windows 7, Firefox 63, and I'm trying to get it to stop updating because every time it does, it resets things - lately it's been asking him for his Firefox password, but he doesn't use any server-based Firefox features, so it's only causing confusion. He does NOT need to log onto Firefox sync.

While I was fixing his settings, I noticed he had his home page set to Facebook, whereas previously, I had set it to the Firefox default for him ("New Tab" still uses the default Firefox page). When I clicked on the dropdown to change from "Custom URLs", nothing dropped down, and I was unable to change the home page. Eventually, I reset all of his settings to default and restarted. Then he told me he actually did want Facebook for his home page, and now I couldn't set it back - clicking on the dropdown to change from "Default", again, nothing dropped down. I googled and found another way to change the home page by dragging a tab to the house icon on the page, and that worked, but I do not understand why I am not able to change the home page setting using the options page.

Note: I have been fiddling with adding a policies.json file to try to prevent unwanted prompts for Firefox sync password and unwanted prompts for updating the browser. On the thought that that might have been causing a problem, I removed the line that disables update checks, but that didn't make any difference.

All Replies (6)

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Hi rprastein, I assume the Options page doesn't mention that an extension is controlling the home page setting.

Could you check this preference:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful or accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste home and pause while the list is filtered

(3) Check the browser.startup.homepage preference:

(A) Does it have either a "default" or "modified" status? If the preference has a "locked" status, that may be caused by a policy or by an Autoconfig file.

(B) This is how the Options page text maps to the value listed in about:config --

  • "Firefox Home (default)" => about:home [plain text, not bolded]
  • "Custom URLs..." => your home page(s) [bolded]
  • "Blank Page" => about:blank [bolded]

You can try manually editing the URL here if the preference is not locked.

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What do you think about installing the Extended Support Release of Firefox 60 instead of the mainstream release of Firefox (currently on 63)? It would increase the period of stability of features and interface, but there would be a big jump next Fall.

More info: Switch to Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) for personal use

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See also:

Note that you can use the builtin JSON viewer to check the polocies.json file for errors.

  "policies": {
    "DisableFirefoxAccounts": true,
    "DisableAppUpdate": true
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Thanks for all of the responses. My dad is on his computer right now; I'll wait until he goes to bed and try some of these then.

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jscher2000: browser.startup.homepage is set to modify, with the facebook URL; startup.homepage_override_url has no value.

cor-el: thanks for the information about viewing the json file in Firefox to validate it. I did have a syntax error (missing a comma). However, fixing it didn't help.  :-(

I may install an older version at some point, but Dad is happy right now, so I think I'll leave things alone for now.

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Can you post the content of the policies.json file?